Well, after months of playing STP (a black/blue deck based mostly on the power of dark ritual/fatty with duress/hymn and broken blue nastiness) I decided it was time for a change. STP was brutal and had its share of wins, but bad luck, and a particularly nasty losing streak to OSE piloted by Az had me ready to try something new. Azhrei had often said that if he was to ever change OSE it would be to add some red. With that as an idea, we built the core of what would become my new deck: Overnight Sensation (note the clever use of O.S. because at its core it really is OSE, no we didnt think of that before but now that I type it out I think its a nifty homage).
Anyway, we put the deck together and playtested it heavily against OSE and SRB. The theory was that it needed to handle good control and hyper-aggro or it wasnt worht playing. WHat I found out was that it is solid against control (Only slightly less so than regular OSE) but absolutely owns aggro. Fire/Ice is the most amazing card. Never dead due to Ice, the ability to searched by merchant scroll, pitch ice to force of will, kill 2 pups, hyppie or factory, or go to the dome, all at instant speed. Its flexibity cant be overstated.
Playtesting tuned the deck and made the need for a more solid threat base necessary. We tossed around ideas for a sideboard but my own procrastination and alcoholism prevented me from actually putting it together before the tournament and I went with the leftovers of STP's sideboard and the couple of cards I was able to grab from my binder.
As Azhrei already mentioned, my out of town guests prevented me from engaging in our usual pre-tourney practice and debauchery, but I was confident in the good work we had putinto the deck earlier.
Saturday morning I frantically searched for some advil to kill the remains of the previous nights activities, put on my halloween costume (a kilt and puffy shirt) and headed to Richmond Comix for the tournament. At this point I had no idea if anyone else was actually going to come in costume and the 36 degree air didnt make the kilt any more appealing.
Now comes one of the strangest sentances ever typed. I was quite relieved to pull into the parking lot and find Azhrei getting out of his car in tights with a strange man dressed as a pimp.
The pimp turned out to be Matt D'Avanzo. He was styling in leather pants and purple wide-brimmed hat. We make our way inside and find out that while some of the regulars couldnt make it, a group of Virginia Tech guys drove all the way out to play. That is some type 1 dedication folks. I didn't get to talk to them much, but I discovered that apparently I'm quite prejudiced. As soon as I found out that one of them was playing BBS I was instantly rooting against that guy. It dawned on me later that I was letting a disdain for the deck (and some of its most fervant advocates) color my opinion. Anyway, back to the tournament.
First round I am paired against Anson. He is a local casual player who is much more into the RawDeal cardgame than Magic. That said he has a certian old-school flair in his deckbuilding and loves to kill people with their own stuff. His deck revolved around mana flares and other boosters to power supersized rock hydra's and disintegrates. To harass the enemy though he ran psychic venom, backfire, and ruination (an awesome call in our shop). First game I get a couple of cities of brass, which then get psychic venomed. He plays out mana flare and an 5/5 Hydra I believe. I stabalize with a quick edict, and Ancestral into some land. Using his mana flare to avoid using hte city I'm able to build up my resources and set up a broken will than seals the game. Second game I get the lotus and a sol ring and Twist away his hand (including Ruination) before he can set up his acceleration. Masticore finishes the job. 1-0, 2-0
Round 2, Ssswmc with Mr. Brownstone
He had apparently been playtesting the night before with Azhrei and Matt D'Avanzo because he had majorly tuned the deck and improved it. Game 1 he plays out fast mana and attempts a Covetous Dragon, which I'm able to Drain and set up a nice broken turn. He attempts to recover late by tapping out to lay a Masticore, however it meets an untimely prophetic bolt and we are on to game 2.
I side in an extra shaman for the Abyss and a Powder Keg for Fire/Ice.
I keep a suboptimal hand with lots of lands and a FoF. He lays lotus AGAIN and procedes with first turn brokenness. I make a valiant effort to come back but Yawgmoth's will seals it for him.
Game 3, Again he lays the first turn lotus but I have a force of Will ready. I get him down to 3 before he can finally kill the mishra's (thank you teferi's response). And a FIRE in response to his time twister takes him to 1. One mystical tutor later its game.set.match. 2-0, 4-1
Round 3, URMage with Azhrei sligh. Its lunchtime and a draw will insure we make top8. 2-0-1, 4-1
Round 4, Matt D'Avanzo with Keeper. I offer a draw and we debate for some time his odds of making it. It was one of those prisoner's dilema things were if 1 group draws they get it, if everyon does then its down to tie breakers. We decide to play it out. Game 1 I get mox sol-ring and mystical for a FoF (he might have misdiretion so I took FoF over ancestral or twist). The FoF nets me strong card advantage right from the start. We deplete each other's hands of counters repeatedly. Interesting part of the game was when he regrew teh sylvan library and played it out, only to meet a prophetic bolt to teh dome that really prevented him from using it effectively (he was already at 10 at the time). Eventually won with a FIRE to the dome. Side in 4 Negators and 1 Rootwater Thief and the other SHaman. Game 2 he gets the early card drawing and I just cant recover. Game 3 I get a broken draw and twist away a good part of his hand right from teh start. It leaves me low on cards as well, but after a few turns I merchant scroll an ancestral(but it taps me out). He is forced to decide to stroke for 3 himself or stroke for 0, then balance leaving us both with empty hands. He opts to stroke but does not pull a Force of Will or Misdirection. I lay a Negator (which surprised him since he assumed I was going with REB's and no creatures) and wrap up the game. 3-0-1, 6-2
We cut to top 8, which has already been documented on the board. My opponent is Egon from Virginia Tech playing BBS. Game 1 I pull 3 Mishras in a hurry and just beat him down before he can mount any kind of defense. Side in the Negators, Thief, and a keg (for additional morphling killin). He opts to go first and lays a Library. I draw and play wasteland, destroying the LoA, then drop a Mox, use it for Sol Ring. Drop the Lotus, sac for 3 blue. Use 1 to Ancestral, then the other 2 blue and the sol ring to play masticore. He attempts to Force of Will, but I Force right back. Masticore resolves. 1st turn core goes the distance. 4-0-1, 8-2
Semifinals, Azhrei with OrgAzhmatron.
In both games I use wasteland and gorilla shaman to really hose Az's mana base, which lets me get my draw spells through befor ehe can counter them. I dont recall any mistakes on either players part (and since the decks are nearly identical, it really comes down to that and luck). I bring in the thief and negators and shaman from the sideboard. A thief gets out and pulls the morphling. An ancestral has netted me some lands and jewelry, but no business cards and Az has finally started to get mana, so I play a land and then TimeTwister (he had 4 cards in hand to my one, and my 1 was my 4TH city of brass). The twister nets me a good assortment of cards. On his turn I believe I drain something(I think Mind Twist). Use it to play a morphling that finishes the game off. I had all the answers this game (never failed to counter drawers, had shaman for moxen, wastes for land, and I think even the response when i needed it). 5-0-1, 10-2
Finals, Dave Williams with Suicide Black (using scuta instead of negator because of the sligh environment and synergy with sacromancy)
Game 1 he rituals out a hymn(grabbing ancestral and something else good) and sarcomancy. I take a bit of attack until a Mishra shows up to stabalize and I get some mad card drawing on. He plays a pair of scuta which meet unforunate fates at the hands of edict and mana drain. Kegs and FIRE wipe out his creatures. The drain let me set up a nasty Yawmoth's will which let me ancestral (giving me a critical Sol Ring) and bring a Masticore back out of the graveyard, which takes the game. I side in Z'orb, a couple of Kegs and another 'Core for the morphling, and some searchers.
I decide to keep a 1 land hand because of ancestral and FoW, and draw into the lands I need. He misses a land drop or 2 and that is more than enough for me to control the match. He gets a hymn off, but its decidedly less lucky than the first one. 6-0-1, 12-2, box of apocalypse.
I'm sorry for the pathetic match details, but honestly I had no intention of doing a report until the deck started performing so well, and I figured I should take the opportunity to end a report with something OTHER than "I drew 4 wastelands and an off color mox and got killed by elvish spirit guide".
Now for the decklist.
4 Underground Sea
4 Volcanic Island
4 City of Brass (you'd think I had 10)
4 Mishra's Factory
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Undiscovered Paradise
4 Moxen (U/B/R/W)
1 Sol Ring
1 Ancestral Recal
1 Time Walk
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Mystical Tutor
2 Merchant Scroll
2 Fact or Fiction
1 Prophetic Bolt
4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
1 Teferi's Response
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Powder Keg
1 Diabolic Edict
1 The Abyss
1 Gorilla Shaman
4 Phyrexian Negator
1 Rootwater Thief
1 Zuran Orb
3 Powder Keg
1 Blue Elemental Blast
Yes this sideboard is total crap, but I admitted that at the top. I wouldnt recommend it to anyone, but it does have answers for both extremes of decktypes (hyperaggro and hypercontrol) but definetly needs REB.
Overall, the deck is amazing. I might go down to 3 cities of brass since I seem to have such an easy time drawing them. The Mox Pearl needs to be another blue source, probably an Underground River. Prophetic Bolt would probably be better as a FoF, but I like the variation in effects, and impluse pluse lightning blast is extremetly good in an aggro environment, it steals a card from sylvan library, and can go do the dome in a stalled game. Nevermind its obviously use as critter removal. Plus its rogue like the Teferi's response and no-one expects it. First time we thought of it, I laughed, but not once have I been unhappy with its performance in playtesting or tournament time. Prophetic bolting the masticore was pricless.
Anyway that was the tournament. The rest of the weekend was a blast too, TIC and Matt D'Avanzo came by my place tha tnight and we had pizza, drinks, watched The Big Lebowski,and played over 170 matches of Tekken3. Checked out the Celtic Festival Sunday (NEVER EAT HAGGIS, IT IS NOT FOOD, IT IS A CRUEL JOKE). I was very pleased with the weekend on the whole. Got to play against new people (very good new people), Had a great time, and got on a lucky streak at the best possible time.
"(NEVER EAT HAGGIS, IT IS NOT FOOD, IT IS A CRUEL JOKE)."
You bastard, now I'm in my room laughing uncontrollably.